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Doug Keating

Age: 36

Occupation:Insurance Investigator

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Explorer of the Seas

Sailing Date: January 30th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

I am glad that I did not check the reviews of this cruise before I booked it. So many complaints about the quality of the food posted here! I brought my family of 4 little children, my wife, and my parents. It was their 40th anniversary, and late January was a great time to get out of snowy NJ! I will address the food specifically, since that was a concern for us after doing some review research. We had lunch the first day in teh Windjammer. It is all buffet style, and it was OK. I had no great expectation for lunch, and I was not blown away. Simply OK. We had lunches on shore the port days, as we did excursions each time. I thought Breakfast was good. We ordered room service as soon as we awoke, so we could have coffee for us, and bagels for the kids. Service was more prompt than they promised.

The windjammer gets pretty crowded for breakfast, so I suggest going to the dining rooms for breakfast. You get waited on at the table, and the service is great. As for dinner, I thought everything was very nice. My wife and I go out to the best restaurants in the area about 2 to 3 times a year, and the cruise food is not at that level, but I did not have that expectation. I found it all to be good, and plenty of it. The service was very, very good. They bend over backwards to provide excellent service. In fact, on some nights I could not decide between entrees, so they brought me both! So unless you are looking for some culinary experience, don't worry about the food. As for the excursions, we did the river tour and zoo in Belize. It was very nice. If I did not my kids, I would have gone for the cave tubing. The zoo was interesting. Screaming monkeys and all.

We all did the day at the beach at Costa Maya, and we booked it ourselves online. It was the last bar/ beach all the way to the left after getting ashore. Take a taxi. Cheap for open bar all day, beach chair, table, and lunch was plentiful and cheap too. Great beach. This was the best day. My wife and I went to Tulum ruins/ Xel-Ha and I would recommend this to anyone. Just a great trip here. On the Cayman day we did the 1/2 submersible sub tour. Interesting and the kids liked it. We did not go to the beach. Cayman was the least exciting day.

For entertainment in the evening, I thought the singers were talented, but the first show was pretty bad. It was supposed to be a history of the world, but somehow James Bond was in the mix? I didn't get that. Mark Preston was a singer one night. He was great. We did the Quest game when that was playing, came in 3rd. The other nights we just walked around and had a few drinks. Oh, one more thing, they offer in room babysitting, in which housekeeping women make a little extra money watching the kids. I paid Brenda $10 per hour, and my kids loved her. There were activites for the two older kids on board, and we all had a good time.

Some tips: If you like to have a bottle of beer or wine on board, bring it with you from shore. I heard this was a no-no, but no one gave us a second look. Our room attendant even kept them cold by changing the ice.

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